Africa Sustainable Forestry Fund II raises $81m at first close

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Criterion Africa Partners (CAP) has announced the first closing of the Africa Sustainable Forestry Fund II (ASFF II) with commitments of $81m toward its $150m target.

The first close is comprised of European institutional investors including CDC Group, FMO, Obviam, BIO and EIB.

“We are hence proud to support an experienced team in the development of sustainable forestry across Sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

Also committing to the first close is the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, based in Boston, MA and focused on solutions to global climate change.

ASFF II is a growth equity fund, with strong environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) practices.

The fund invests across the forestry value chain including brownfield forest plantations, downstream processing of high value building material and biomass energy used to replace fossil fuels used by dairies, breweries, textiles manufacturer and other industrial users of steam.

The fund invests across Sub-Saharan Africa with a primary focus in southern and east Africa, acquiring controlling stakes where possible and significant minority positions where appropriate.

CAP has also announced that David Hathorn will serve as the Chairman of the investment committee.

Hathorn served as the CEO of Mondi Group, an integrated pulp and packaging company listed on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges, from 2000 until he retired in 2017.

Criterion Africa Partners is an independently owned private equity firm investing in the forestry value chain in sub-Saharan Africa.

The team of eight investment professionals spun out of Global Environment Fund in 2017 to continue the investment program catalyzed by the Africa Sustainable Forestry Fund I which was a $160m fund closed in 2011.

“Our team is uniquely positioned to identify attractive investments and apply our operational and sector expertise to create significant value for our investors and stakeholders,” said CAP Managing Partner Dr. Ole Sand.

“We are honored to have received such significant support toward the first close,” he added. Source : Africa Global Funds

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